Latest TRSA survey shows some signs of optimism for 2022

22 December 2021

Robert W Baird & Co and TRSA, the North America textile services trade association, recently released the results of its December 2021 (Fourth-Quarter 2021) Uniform & Linen Rental Survey. The results showed several encouraging signs of optimism heading into 2022 based on data collected from the uniform and linen rental companies that participated in the survey.

Survey participants include senior executives at uniform and/or linen rental companies, evenly distributed across the United States, with some operations in Canada and other international locations. The total response pool for the survey consisted of roughly 225 independent companies.

Key uniform rental survey findings include:

  • Rental Revenue Trends. 40% of respondents beat their own revenue expectations for the quarter with just 5% falling short. The 35% spread here is the highest post-Covid. 55% of respondents reported revenues consistent with expectations.
  • Add/Stops. Employment-driven expansion at existing accounts (i.e., Add/Stop Diffusion Index) saw significant improvement, increasing to 80.0 (from 54.8) and one of the highest reads in the survey’s history.
  • No-Programmers. The no-programmer diffusion index moderated to 52.5 (from 55.0). Still positive, however.
  • Growth Outlook. Industry consensus now sees nearly 4.8% organic growth over the next 12 months, down a bit from last quarter’s forecast but still elevated versus Covid levels. Comparisons are becoming more balanced, showing less initial Covid-related surge.

Key linen rental survey findings include:

  • Rental Revenue Trends. 57% of respondents cited rental revenue trends above expectations with 43% in-line. No respondents reported trends below expectations. Relative spread matched record.
  • No-Programmers. No-programmer interest remained solidly positive at 60.7 but moderated from last quarter’s record 70.6 reading. The index has been in expansionary territory all year after dipping negative in 2020.
  • Growth Outlook. Forecasted 12-month revenue outlook improved to +5.9%, matching last quarter’s record as the highest rate of forecasted growth in the survey’s history (since December 2015 for this sector).

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